Monday, May 1, 2017

Change of Heart by Liv Rancourt (#trans #lesbian #romance)

Change of Heart is a story as lovely as its cover, an historical romance that effortlessly transports the reader to 1930s New Orleans, and seduces us into falling in love with Clarabelle and Vaughn. Liv Rancourt captures the essence of the era and the characters, with a wonderful narrative voice that is full of sensual authenticity.

I loved the innocence of Clarabelle, a young woman who chose to the Sodom of the time, hoping that her sinful was might find a home there. It is wonderful the way Rancourt captures her conflicting desires, allowing her to be both proper and passionate at the same time. Vaughn took a little more time to warm up to, initially coming across as an empty, playful sort of scoundrel, but when her transgender nature is violently outed, she comes alive for the reader.

The playful romance between these two women drives the first half of the novel, while a heartbreaking tension between then drives the second. As much as we sympathize with Clarabelle feelings of betrayal, we empathize with the difficulty of Vaughn's identity even more. It is that conflict of genders, desires, emotions, and personalities that makes Change of Heart such a powerful story. You cannot help but be drawn in and entertained by their flirty sort of courtship, and then thoroughly tied up in their efforts to find their way through to true love. Just an altogether wonderful story, with a unique setting and a refreshing narrative voice.

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